A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
Let Us Be Church!
March 28, 2020
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
November 16, 2019
Last weekend I wasn’t able to celebrate Mass at St. Francis Xavier because I had been invited to the parishes of St. Joseph’s Church in Pierz and St. Michael’s Church in Buckman to share information about my role at Catholic Charities and our 2019
Make God’s Love Visible annual appeal. I appreciated the opportunity to serve as deacon of the Masses and share Catholic Charities’ mission. After Mass at St. Michael’s Church, a young family came up to me to ask a few more detailed questions about our various programs. During Mass, I had mentioned that Catholic Charities has about 30 programs across the Diocese and this family want to hear more specifics. So I told them about our food shelf, clothing program, financial counseling, senior health & wellness, services for youth and our housing program – to name a few. After I completed my overview, the young mother paused for a moment, contemplated what I had told her, looked at her three young children and said, “It sounds to me that the people at Catholic Charities gives hope to people in need.” She smiled at me and ushered her children out the door into the brisk November air. Her comment struck me, and I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about how she said that we give hope to those in need. She articulated our mission so eloquently with so few words. It made me realize that
Jesus did the same thing for all of us during His earthly ministry: He gave us hope! This is firmly illustrated in our gospel message this weekend (Luke 21:5-19). The disciples were looking in awe at the temple and appreciating its great beauty.
In the midst of their awe and appreciation, Jesus forewarned them that the temple would be destroyed in their lifetime. Understandably, the disciples were shaken and disturbed by this news because the temple represented their faith. They could not differentiate one from the other and assumed that Jesus meant that their faith in God would be destroyed as well. Jesus gave the disciples hope. He explained that while the temple would be destroyed, and all of their institutions and social relationships would be tested, their faith would remain intact. He assured the disciples that as long as their faith in God remained strong and they followed Jesus’ teachings, they would remain unharmed. He told them, “You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (Lk 5:17-19) Jesus ministry is one of hope. When situations occur in our lives and we feel challenged and hopeless, turn to Jesus and pray to God. You will find that you are left with hope and will be given the strength and courage to overcome any challenges that come your way. Blessings,